Karl on J.R.: ‘I Wanted More Basic’

Denver head coach George Karl will be reuniting with a few faces Wednesday the most notable being Carmelo Anthony, but New York’s J.R. Smith was an equally vexing pupil for Karl. Marc Berman passes along this from Karl on his relationship while coaching the enigmatic Smith:

“His talent/skill level is at a scary level. He’s one of the top 30 players on what he could be. But the growth process of JR and George Karl, there was a lot of pain because of the good and bad that comes with watching him play. There’s a time frame on that. Time frame for him. Time frame for me as coach. Somehow they wanted to keep me as coach. They thought it was a healthier, better situation for him to go someplace else. As a coach, I’m the one who gives the minutes. For me to give him a lot of minutes, he had to give me some simple, solid fundamental. I think that was the fight we had. The fight was he wanted more freedom and opportunity to express his offensive skills. I wanted more basic, solid simple.’